Original U.S. Antique Colt Engraved Nickel-Plated Single Action Army Revolver in .44-40 with Horn Grips - Serial 97633

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is every School boy's dream! A real Cowboy six gun! This Nickel-plated Colt SAA (Single Action Army) Revolver has a 5 1/2" barrel, and replacement cowboy-style stag horn grips. The revolver's serial number is 97633, which dates production to 1883. In full working Order and Condition, showing the expected wear of age. The metalwork on the frame and grip have been full engraved, with some light engraving on the cylinder as well.

The markings on the top of the barrel are faint, though still legible:


The patent dates on the left side of the frame show dates of 1871, 1872 and 1875, though they are a bit faint due to wear. The frame, grip, and trigger guard all bear the serial number clearly, so this pistol has most likely not been refinished at any time. The bottom of the barrel is marked 44, indicating that this is chambered for the very popular .44-40 Winchester cartridge. This way the owner would only need to carry one cartridge for both his revolver and repeating rifle.

Mechanically, the action is smooth, with a good cylinder lock up, and crisp dry fire. The bore is nice, with clear lands and grooves and a dull finish. The ejector door swings open easily, and the ejector itself works great. The grips are very nice replacement stag horn, with a beautiful color and ribbed texture.

It was manufactured in 1883, therefore it never had an etched panel that read "Colt Frontier Six Shooter" as the serial number range for such marked revolvers was between 45000 and 65000. Revolvers like this were marketed to the civilian frontier market, as the U.S. Cavalry issued the identical model finished in blue.

Pistols such as this are extremely difficult to find today at any reasonable price, especially with a matching holster. This example is just ideal for any Wild West Collection. A great collector's revolver, ready to display.

History of the Colt Single Single Action Army

Bound by the Rollin White patent (#12,648, April 3, 1855) and not wanting to pay a royalty fee to Smith & Wesson, Colt could not begin development of bored-through revolver cylinders for metallic cartridge use until April 4, 1869. For the design, Colt turned to two of its best engineers: William Mason and Charles Brinckerhoff Richards who had developed a number of revolvers and black powder conversions for the company. Their effort was designed for the United States government service revolver trials of 1872 by Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company and adopted as the standard military service revolver. Production began in 1873 with the Single Action Army model 1873, also referred to as the "New Model Army Metallic Cartridge Revolving Pistol".

The very first production Single Action Army, serial number 1, thought lost for many years after its production, was found in a barn in Nashua, New Hampshire in the early 1900s. It was chambered in .45 Colt, a centerfire design containing charges of up to 40 grains (2.6 g) of fine-grained black powder and a 255-grain (16.5 g) blunt roundnosed bullet. Relative to period cartridges and most later handgun rounds, it was quite powerful in its full loading.

The Colt Single Action Army revolver, along with the 1870 and 1875 Smith & Wesson Model 3 "Schofield" revolver, replaced the Colt 1860 Army Percussion revolver. The Colt quickly gained favor over the S&W and remained the primary US military sidearm until 1892 when it was replaced by the .38 Long Colt caliber Colt Model 1892, a double-action revolver with swing-out cylinder. By the end of 1874, serial no. 16,000 was reached; 12,500 Colt Single Action Army revolvers chambered for the .45 Colt cartridge had entered service and the remaining revolvers were sold in the civilian market.

The Colt .45 is a famous piece of American history, known as "The Gun That Won the West". The Single Action army is a very popular firearm, even today, and it continues to be produced in various configurations.


Year of Manufacture: 1883
Caliber: .44-40 Winchester
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 5 1/2  inches

Overall Length: 11 1/4 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

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